At its peak, the College All-Star Game was arguably as big a football game there was on the calendar, rivaling both the Rose Bowl and the NFL Championship Game in terms of spectacle, importance and popularity. Radio, and then later, TV ratings for the game were large. Crowds of 90,000+ were not uncommon, with even a few games featuring over 100,000 fans in attendance!
The Gridiron Uniform Database is pleased to add the Uniform History of the CASG to the site. Let's do a little synopsis of the uni history of first, the All-Stars, and then the pro champs through the years.
By 1939, the All-Stars changed to what would be their signature jersey, a style that would virtually be unchanged for the next 30 years. The jerseys were royal blue, with white (later silver) shoulders with 10 red stars on either shoulder. Large white numbers on the front and back, with a rather unique side panel striping that featured sets of red, white and blue horizontal stripes. The side panel stripes would continue onto the sides of the silver pants from top to bottom, to form a continuous pattern from the armpit to the bottom of the pant leg. Also in '39, the helmets changed from gold to silver.
For a couple of years in the late 50's, the All-Stars wore their college helmets from the previous season, before switching to a rather generic white helmet with blue stripes. In 1969, the side panel/stripes were gone. The pants went to a rather normal blue/red/blue side stripe. The shoulders returned to white and were modified with smaller and less red stars. In 1971, TV numbers were finally added to the sleeves. In 1972, stars returned to the helmet, and by 1973, nameplates were at long last positioned on the jersey back:
As for the pros, for the most part, they wore their standard jerseys in the early years, and by 1954, the pros would wear their white jerseys for the duration of the CASG. But there are a few interesting uni items to highlight.
|1937 Green Bay Packers|
Only thing is that satin becomes heavy when wet, which can cause a lot of perspiration and on a warm, humid mid-summer night in Chicago, the Packers sweated a lot of collective pounds off. Legend has it that Packer star back Clarke Hinkle claimed to have lost 30 pounds that night! The following year (1938), the Redskins sported burgundy jerseys with enormous numbers, perhaps the largest ever seen on a football uniform, gold with white outlines with, of course, satin materials.
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|1954 Detroit Lions|
|1969 New York Jets|
It would be the following season when the Kansas City Chiefs took the field in their normal away combo that NOBs would make their debut in the CASG.
Credits to our graphic engineer Bill Schaefer to compile the visual history of the CASG, the Chicago Tribune archives, the New York Times for verification of the dates and scores of the CASG, and the excellent website mmbolding.com. which features a detailed history of the CASG.
While the College All-Star Game did not live happily ever after, it certainly served its purpose quite well in its day. And because of its importance in establishing professional football as the dominant form of football and eventually, the dominant spectator sport in the United States, we welcome the College All-Star Game uniform history to the Gridiron Uniform Database.